• Bigg_Scott's Avatar

    Bigg_Scott started following

    User: CancerNews

  • Bigg_Scott's Avatar

    Bigg_Scott shared an experience

    Celebration (Finished treatment): I finished treatment on my terms, though I was afraid and depressed at the time. I prayed to my God, and had to convince my family that quitting my chemo against the advice of the doctor was the only thing I felt right doing. I am approaching 6 years cancer free now!

  • Bigg_Scott's Avatar

    Bigg_Scott shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): Chemo and radiation done before surgery was not very effective. Pathology said tumor was only 61% dead. Medical oncologist recommended 4 more cycles of Doxorubicin and Cisplatin. Hesitantly, I agreed. The first cycle started damaging my kidneys heavily, and I decided that the risks of the medicine outweighed the benefits, so I made the doctor stop treating me. Looking back, I am very glad I chose to stop--and wishing I had stopped earlier!

  • Bigg_Scott's Avatar

    Bigg_Scott shared an experience

    Procedure or Surgery (Surgery): Knocked out. With my close family, extended family, and some friends crying, praying, and sitting shocked in the waiting room.

    Surgery was 15 hours long. Two teams of doctors worked on me. 1. the surgeon who cut my cancerous upper jaw out of my head with a hammer and chisel and other tools, and 2. the plastic surgeon's team who harvested tissues from 3 sites at my body and rebuilt my face in the same long surgery!

    They kept me knocked out all the next night so that my doctors could go home and sleep. They wanted to be there when I woke up just in case anything went awry with me.

    Nothing did.

    I was fine! With a trach, a nasogastric feeding tube, and a ton of pain medicine.

    I don't remember a lot of those first few days because of the meds... though what I do remember was very hard to life through. I spent about a week inpatient, then got to go home. There was one minor hitch, with complications from the surgery cutting off my airway, so we had to go to the cancer ER for one more night, and a doctor removed two large masses of stuff from my throat so I could breathe.

    After that, it was healing time!

  • Bigg_Scott's Avatar

    Bigg_Scott shared an experience

    Oh No (Health insurance issue): Health insurance dropped me in the middle of my chemo and radiation--my pre-scheduled surgery was about 2 months away! I found this out when I tried to check in for my dose of chemo. THAT was a shock! And would they NOT DO my surgery because the health insurance dumped me?! My parents' scrambled and called lawyers, state officials, insurance companies, etc. Mostly while I slept. They cried when I wasn't around. Finally they found a state high risk pool that was very expensive, but it had a catastrophic cap. I could finish up all my medicine.

  • Bigg_Scott's Avatar

    Bigg_Scott shared an experience

    Radiation (External radiation ): IMRT. 50 Grays.

    The time bolted to the table while the machine moves around and shoots beams through your head is not pleasant.

    The damage it does to surrounding tissues is permanent.

    The energy sapping, mouth ulcers, "sunburn," and other mild effects aren't fun.

    ...but they do go away. You will heal up after it!